Law Firm, Inc. has published the 2006 AmLaw Tech Survey (11th Annual). What do we make of the findings? 

“The technology chiefs of the Am Law 200 firms who responded report that they are tackling a bevy of new projects that update old concerns and applications — integration and security, to name two — rather than attempting more radical changes.” My anecdotal experience as a legal technology consultant supports the idea that infrastructure upgrades are front and center. But I also see quite a few firms going well beyond the basics.

One example is Foley & Lardner, which the article reports has a custom-built extranet with 400 client sites. From my own prior blog entries come many other examples:
Morrison & Foerster’s AnswerBase for KM on steroids,
Bryan Cave’s building and using business intelligence tools,
Jenner & Block’s expansive view of knowledge management (e.g., work force allocation for summer associates),
Skadden Arp’s integrating real work product retrieval directly into document management,
Sheppard Mullin’s early adoption and creation of numerous blogs,
several large firms adopting enterprise RSS,
Eversheds and Clifford Chance re-aligning IT costs via outsourcing, and
Wragge & Co’s fee prediction and transaction management system.

The list could go on. My concern is that the results of the survey, while accurate, can be used by law firm management to thwart innovative ideas offered by lawyers, CIOs, marketers, knowledge managers, and others. I think the list above is enough to show that while infrastructure may take the lion’s share of resources, plenty of firms find ways to do more to serve their lawyers and clients.